26 Prominent Overseas Chinese Rights Activists Signed Open Letter for Worsening China Human Rights Record before Olympics



Saturday, March 8, 2008

China Aid Association
Midland, Texas-Responding to the dramatic worsening situation in China recently, CAA today released an open letter to the international community calling upon the international community to help China improve its worsening human rights situation before Beijing Olympics. The letter was signed by 26 prominent overseas Chinese rights activists including CAA president Bob Fu. CAA learned that, Dr. Teng Biao(Tony), noted human rights lawyer, was kidnapped in front of his apartment 9:30pm on March 6th.  He was interrogated with a bag over his head for 41 hours.  He was finally released on March 8th with a stern warning not to talk about civil rights. During the same period, a state security vehicle crashed into the car of another famous human rights lawyer, Li Heping, who was driving his seven year old son to school. Both Dr. Teng and attorney Li were strong religious freedom defenders in China. In the fall of 2005, both were invited by China Aid visiting the US as part of religious freedom defenders delegation. They met with Senator Sam Brownback, Congressman Frank Wolf, Professor Jerome Cohen of NYU as well as other rights related government agencies and NGOs.
The open letter finally emphasized that the time has come to tell the Chinese Government that human rights are not for sale.
The letter calls on world leaders, friends of human rights, scholars, athletes, and all members of the entertainment and business communities, to follow the brave lead of movie director Steven Spielberg to urge China to improve its record on human rights.
In the word's of the beloved Martin Luther King Jr. "In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends"

Below is the full text of the letter.
An Open Letter to the International Community
Democracy and Human Rights Are Not For Sale
March 8, 2008
We, the undersigned, call on the international community to express its outrage at the Chinese government's continued and flagrant disregard for human rights. Its most recent actions reveal a rogue state that blatantly challenges the resolve of free nations everywhere.
We sadly learned that, Mr. Teng Biao, noted human rights lawyer, was kidnapped in front of his apartment 9:30pm on March 6th. He was interrogated with a bag over his head for 41 hours. He was finally released on March 8th with a stern warning not to talk about civil rights.
During the same period, a state security vehicle crashed into the car of another famous human rights lawyer, Li Heping, who was driving his seven year old son to school.
Both these brave men are well known for their active defense of citizens' rights and their fearless reporting of the government's routine disregard for its own laws and constitution.
Both these actions took place during the so called "People's Congress". But, these actions clearly show that this government neither represents nor respects its people.
The time has come to tell the Chinese Government that human rights are not for sale. The Chinese government must hear that it cannot benefit from Olympic Gold and, at the same time, deny its citizens the benefits of human rights.
We call on world leaders, friends of human rights, scholars, athletes, and all members of the entertainment and business communities, to follow the brave lead of movie director, Steven Spielberg. Like Mr. Spielberg, we must now answer the question: "how much abuse can I tolerate before the Chinese government renders as untenable, its position of Olympic host.
If we do not make this stand now, our silence will send a loud message to Bejing. A message that will return to haunt us. In the word's of the beloved Martin Luther King Jr. "In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends"
Yang Jianli, Hu Ping, Sheng Xue, Wang Dan, Xu Wenli, Pan Yongzhong, Huang Heqing, Wang Juntao, Yan Jiaqi, Bob Fu, Zhang Er-ping, Chen Kuide, Zhou Fengsuo, Liu Guokai, Fei Liangyong, Lin Muchen, Feng Congde, Chen Pokong, Tang Yuanjun, Wong Min, Edmond Yiu, Zhou Jian,Xue Wei, Wang TianCheng, Pan Qing, Zhang Weiguo


China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org 
Website: www.chinaaid.org